Whether you realize it or not, statistics is involved inherently in our daily life. Every single day, innumerable decisions are being taken based on these statistics. It is used in business, politics, banking, medical sectors, and various other fields. But not all statistics will make you nod your head in agreement. While some will tickle your funny side, others will make you gasp in amazement. In this article, we have brought you 10 such mind-blowing statistics that will make you think twice.
1. About 90% of all people live in the Northern Hemisphere.
The total human population on Earth is 7.3 billion. Out of these, approximately 6.57 billion people, i.e. about 90% of the total population, live north of the equator. That’s because the Northern Hemisphere contains 67.3% of Earth’s land including all of Europe and North America, most of Africa and Asia, and parts of South America. Also, the Southern Hemisphere is about 80.9% water while the portion covered by water in Northern Hemisphere is relatively less, i.e. only 60.7% water. (1,2,3)
2. 0.3% of solar energy from the Sahara is enough to power the whole of Europe.
The radiant sunlight falling on the vast expanse of Sahara Desert has attracted scientists from all over the world. To tap and use this clean, renewable energy source, scientists are calling for the creation of a series of huge solar farms. The area in the Sahara desert which is most suitable for these farms is slightly smaller than Wales in size. According to Arnulf Jaeger-Waldau of the European commission’s Institute for Energy, only 0.3% of the light falling on the Sahara and Middle East deserts would be enough to meet all of Europe’s energy needs.
According to scientists, the intense sunlight of the Sahara Desert can generate three times the electricity than the electricity generated from all solar energy sources in northern Europe. The electricity produced in the Sahara Desert would be transmitted to Europe along high-voltage, direct-current cables. (1,2)
3. The risk of a heart attack is about 20% greater on Mondays for adult men, and 15% greater for adult women.
The thought of Monday after a stress-free weekend gives everyone a mini-heart-attack. Keeping jokes aside, scientists have found that the cases of heart attacks are actually greater on Monday than any other day. This was found through research conducted between 2008 and 2012 at 11 public hospital emergency departments involving more than 45,000 heart patients.
The study also showed that heart attack patients who came on Monday are more likely to make their own way to a hospital rather than call an ambulance. They are also more likely to show up during the work hours, i.e. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (1,2,3)
4. Ants have larger biomass than humans.
The exact calculation of the number of humans, birds, trees, fishes, and other living beings on Earth is almost impossible. So, the solution is to estimate and calculate “biomass.” Biomass is determined by multiplying the estimated population by their average weight. After calculation, experts have determined that the biomass of humans is approximately 350 million tons. One of the highest biomass is that of ants and is estimated to be around 3,000 million tons.
Do you know whose biomass is greater than ants? It’s bacteria. With a population of around 4 quadrillions, their biomass is 1,000,000 million tons! (source)
5. About 25% of western United States’ air pollution is from China exports.
As the United States began outsourcing manufacturing to China, pollution in some parts of US decreased. But recent studies have shown that the US-bound Chinese products are actually increasing pollution in some regions of US. This research was conducted by nine scholars based in three nations and their study have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
According to the study, Chinese exports contribute from 12% to 24% of daily sulfate concentrations in the western United States. As China is manufacturing US consumer goods, their air quality is degrading due to the low efficiency of their industries. The pollution from China is being brought to the US by winds called “westerlies.” These winds send chemical-laced, polluted air across the Pacific Ocean in a matter of days. The study also suggests that even though the air quality of the western US is degrading due to Chinese exports, there is a net benefit as the population density of the western US is lower than the eastern US. (1,2,3)